Annabelle Candy Company looks to CA Latinos for growth

Annabelle Candy Company, makers of the beloved Rocky Road, BIG HUNK, Abba-Zaba, LOOK, and U-NO candy bars is marking its 60 years of business and 25 years of distribution in the Mexican market with a new sales initiative to reach Mexican and Mexican American communities in the U.S. The company has sold over three million candy bars in Mexico in the past five years alone and continues to experience growth there averaging six percent annually.

Annabelle's signed agreements with both a broker distributor and a Latino public relations firm, Mosaico Public Relations, to help ease the transition to this market.

"We are translating our success and brand recognition in Mexico to the California Latino market by securing distribution agreements with California Latino supermarkets," said Annabelle President Susan Karl. "The Latino consumer is important to our continued growth. We believe that our experience in Mexico and our products' taste profile which has won over the Mexican consumer can help us grow our business in California Latino communities."

Latinos are currently the state's largest and fastest growing minority, with California's 14 million Latinos representing close to 40 percent of the state's population. Nationwide, the Latino buying power in the food and drink category is worth approximately $7 billion. In California, total Latino buying power represents approximately $230 billion. The company is confident that it can penetrate the California Latino market, in part because of the community's demographic makeup with more than 80 percent of California Latinos being of Mexican origin.

Latino supermarket retailers have been experiencing growth despite the broader economic slowdown. It is estimated that more than one-third of Latino grocery spending is transacted at non-traditional ethnic supermarkets. The company recently made packaging for its top selling products, Rocky Road and BIG HUNK candy bars, available in Spanish and is planning sponsorships and participation in Latino community festivals and trade events as well as with charitable organizations for partnerships.

The Bay Area-based, family-owned company employs a largely Latino workforce and has contributed to organizations active in Latino communities throughout the years such as churches, food banks, schools, and other local youth organizations.

Annabelle Candy Company is located at 27211 Industrial Blvd. Hayward, CA 94545. The company can be reached at (510) 783-2900. For more information visit www.annabelle-candy.com/.